Chapter 8 Problems in Education Chapter Outline The Global Context: Cross-cultural Variations In Education Sociological Theories of Education Who Succeeds? The Inequality of Educational Attainment Problems In The American Educational System Strategies For Action: Trends And Innovations In American Education Understanding Problems in Education Cross-Cultural Variation In Education Worldwide: – Over 100 million children have little or no access to schools. – Over 860 million adults are illiterate. In 2001 all countries, except the Russian Commonwealth, had close to universal participation in formal education for youths 5 to 14 years of age. Comparison of Education: U.S. and Other Developed Nations In 2001, 64% of U.S. children ages 3 to 5 years were enrolled in preprimary or primary education, a rate higher than all the other nations except Canada. Only England scored higher than the U.S. in a comparison of reading literacy among fourth graders. Comparison of Education: U.S. and Other Developed Nations In 2001: – Enrollment of 17-year-olds in secondary schools was 75% in the United States, lower than that of Canada, Germany, and Japan at 90%. – Almost 25% of 18- to 29-year-olds in the U.S. were enrolled in colleges or universities, the highest enrollment rate of the nations studied. Estimated Illiteracy Rates by Region and Gender, 2000 Unemployment Rate of Individuals 25 Years or Older by Highest Level of Education, 2005 Structural-Functional Perspective Education serves important functions: – Instruction – Socialization – Sorting individuals into various statuses – Custodial care Conflict Perspective Educational institution solidifies class positions and allows the elite to control the masses. Quality education and educational opportunities are not equally distributed. Education provides indoctrination into the capitalist ideology. – Cultural imperialism - Indoctrination into the dominant culture of a society. Conflict Perspective Education perpetuates racial inequality: Gross inequalities between poor districts and middle-and upper-class districts. Schools in poor districts have inadequate facilities, materials, and personnel. The richest school districts spend 56% more per pupil than the poorest school districts. Symbolic Interactionist Perspective Concerned with the individual and small- group issues in education: – Teacher-student interactions – Student self-esteem – Self-fulfilling prophecy - Occurs when people act in a manner consistent with the expectations of others. The Self-fulfilling Prophecy Rosenthal and Jacobson experiment: Five random elementary school students were labeled as having superior intelligence and ability. Teachers expected them to do well and treated them in a way that encouraged better school performance. Question According to conflict theorists, what is the socialization function of education? A. Indoctrination into a capitalist ideology. B. All of these choices. C. Promoting awareness for cultural diversity. D. Teaching students to respect authority. Answer: A According to conflict theorists, the socialization function of education is Indoctrination into a capitalist ideology. Question Do you think the government is spending too little, just the right amount or too much on improving the nation's education system? A. Too little B. Just right C. Too much GSS National Data Age <30 30-49 50 and up Too little 73.2% 75.5% 63.3% Just right 23.9 19.4 29 Too much 2.9 5.1 7.6 Highest Level of Education: Individuals 25 and Older, 2002 Question How far do you intend to go in school? A. Two years of college B. Four years of college C. Master's degree D. Professional degree (law, medicine, dentistry) E. Ph.D. Revenues for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: 2002–2003 Reasons for Lower Educational Achievement Low-income parents are less likely to expect their children to go to college. Low-income parents are less likely to be involved with child’s education. Low-income parents are often themselves low academic achievers. Question What is the highest level of education completed by your mother? A. Below high school B. High school graduate C. Some college or postsecondary training D. College degree E. Graduate or professional degree F. Don't know Question What is the highest level of education completed by your father? A. Below high school B. High school graduate C. Some college or postsecondary training D. College degree E. Graduate or professional degree F. Don't know Race and Ethnicity In 2003, 41% of white fourth graders were reading at grade level, compared to 15% of Hispanics and 13% of blacks. Because race and ethnicity are closely tied to socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity alone can determine school success. Some educators advocate bilingual education, teaching children in English and in their native language. Educational Attainment by Race, Ethnicity, and Sex, 1970 and 2003 4 or more years of 1970 2003 high school Males Females Males Females White 54 55 84.5 85.7 Black 30.1 32.5 79.6 80.3 Hispanic 37.9 34.2 56.3 57.8 Asian NA NA 89.5 86 Total 51.9 52.8 84.1 85 Educational Attainment by Race, Ethnicity, and Sex, 1970 and 2003 4 years of college 1970 2003 or more Males Females Males Females White 14.4 8.4 29.4 25.9 Black 4.2 4.6 16.7 17.8 Hispanic 7.8 4.3 11.2 11.6 Asian NA NA 53.9 46.1 Total 13.5 8.1 28.9 25.7 Racial Composition of Schools Attended by the Average Student of Each Race, 2002–2003 Race in Each Native White Black Latino Asian School American White 78 30 28 45 44 Black 9 54 12 12 7 Latino 8 13 54 20 11 Asian 3 3 5 22 2 Native 1 1 1 1 36 American Question Which of the following is not true regarding social class, family background, and education? A. Disadvantaged parents are less involved in their children's education. B. Disproportionately, children from low income families do not go to college. C. Low income families are less likely to take their children to museums and zoos. D. Working class parents do not value the education of their children. Answer: D It is not true that working class parents do not value the education of their children. Functional Illiteracy Inability to read basic signs or maps, complete simple forms, or carry out many of the tasks that require reading. Functionally illiterate adults are disproportionately poor, older than age 55, uneducated, and members of racial or ethnic minority groups. Dropout Rates for 15- to 24-year-olds Who Dropped Out of Grades 10–12, by Family Income Violence in the Schools Students at school between the ages of 12 and 18 were the victims of 1.9 million crimes in 2002. Theft accounts for 64% of the total crimes against students. Annually, on the basis of a 5 year average, teachers were the victims of approximately 90,000 violent crimes, including rape, sexual assault, aggravated and simple assault, and robbery. Innovations In American Education Charter schools – Originate in contracts, or charters, which state a plan of instruction that must be approved by local or state authorities. School vouchers – Tax credits used for public or private school that parents select. Quick Quiz 1. Which society of these 8-- US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, USSR, UK-- has the highest rate of university graduates? A. Japan B. US C. UK D. Germany Answer: B The U.S. has the highest rate of university graduates. 2. What is the function of education, as examined by structural functionalism? A. Teaching students knowledge and skills. B. Teaching students to respect authority. C. Socializing youth into the dominant culture. D. All of these choices. Answer: A Teaching students knowledge and skills is the function of education, as examined by structural functionalism. 3. Ms. Gardener has defined Julian as an "at risk" student. Julian has been moved to a lower level reading group and is not called on to participate in class discussions. The next month's report card shows that Julian's test scores have slipped. What symbolic interactionist idea is this an example of? A. dramaturgy B. looking glass self C. impression management D. self-fulfilling prophecy Answer: D This an example of self-fulfilling prophecy.
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